Why The Original Inhabitants Of This Indian Ocean Island Haven’t Been Allowed Back Home Since 1973

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Image: USGS/NASA Landsat data/Orbital Horizon Gallo Images/Gallo Images/Getty Images

On a paradise island in the Indian Ocean, the traditional way of life is crumbling fast. It’s 1968, and British and American colonialists have begun expelling the inhabitants from their beloved home. Within five years, not a single native will remain on this remote atoll. And more than four decades later, they will still be fighting to return to their land.

Image: MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images

Just a few years earlier, the land comprising Diego Garcia was sold from beneath the islanders’ feet and traded off to the United Kingdom – even as the rest of the region was gaining its independence. Now, the steady erasure of their native culture has begun. Those who take trips away are the first to go, as they are barred from returning home. And next, the rest of the citizens are secretly turfed from the atoll en masse.

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Image: pixabay

Soon, those who once called this island home will be spread across a diaspora stretching from Mauritius and the Seychelles to the United Kingdom. And in their place, a vast, mysterious complex will spring up between the white sand beaches and the shady palms. But what is the real story of Diego Garcia? And why has it been kept a secret for so many years?

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